Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 10: 1 Kings 7; Psalm 128; Proverbs 16:31-33; Acts 7:30-50



Overview

            1 Kings: Solomon built his palace. It took thirteen years. It included the House of the Forest of Lebanon (150’ x 75’), the Hall of Pillars (75’ x 45’), the Hall of Thrones also called Hall of Judgment because he pronounced judgment from there. He also made a hall for Pharaoh’s daughter, his wife. These were all made with costly stones carefully cut and with much cedar. Some of the stones were 12 to 15 feet long.
            Solomon brought Hiram from Tyre, who was skilled in working with bronze. He made two huge pillars of bronze, 27’ tall and 18’ in circumference. He made ornate capitals on them. The pillars were named Jachin and Boaz. He also made a big tank 15’ in diameter and 7.5’ high. It sat on 12 oxen, three facing in each direction. It held 12,000 gallons. Hiram also made many other articles and utensils for use in the temple.
            Solomon also made new golden incense altar, table, lampstands, and other articles of gold for the temple. He then brought in all the silver, gold and other things David had dedicated to the Lord and put them in the treasuries in the Temple.
            Psalm: When we fear the Lord and walk in his ways, we will be blessed. We’ll get our work done, we’ll have plenty of children. The Psalmist calls on the Lord to bless the people from Zion and see this prosperity in Jerusalem all their lives, see several generations of children, and have peace.
            Proverbs: Getting old is a benefit of a righteous life. Being able to control oneself and not get angry is better than those who can conquer a city. Toss your dice, but the Lord decides the number that comes up.
            Acts: Stephen continues his defense by explaining how the Lord appeared to Moses and chose him, the man that the people had rejected by asking who made him a ruler and judge. He explained how Moses lead the people out of Egypt and through the wilderness for forty years with signs and wonders. He is the one who received the oracles of God on the mountain. He is the one who said another prophet like him would arise. They disobeyed him and thrust him aside making other gods to lead them back to Egypt.
            The tent of meeting was with their fathers from Joshua to David until Solomon built the temple. But God doesn’t live in a house because heaven is his throne.

What Stood Out

            1 Kings: “Solomon was building his own house thirteen years, and he finished his entire house” (1 Kings 7:1).
            Psalm: “May you see your children's children” (Ps 128:6).
            Proverbs: “Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city” (Prov 16:32).
            Acts: “Our fathers refused to obey him, but thrust him aside, and in their hearts they turned to Egypt” (Acts 7:39).

Insight

            1 Kings: It took Solomon seven year to build the temple and thirteen years to build his palace. Either he worked harder to get the temple done than his own house or his own house was much more complicated and glamourous than the temple. His house was certainly bigger than the temple.
            This seems to be the way we are. We are willing to spend only so much on the Lord’s work and then the majority of our efforts go into our own buildings or stuff. I’m wondering just how that looks to the Lord. Of course, he knows our hearts and he also knows what we need to function in this culture. However, I’m sure we could probably do better at taking care of what we need to be doing for the Lord versus our own wants.
            Psalm: I had to chuckle when I read the last line of this Psalm. It starts by saying, “May you see your children's children” (Ps 128:6)! I remember when my grandfather was old and there were tons of kids running around in his living room. He leaned over to one of his sons, pointed to a great granddaughter and asked, “Who does that one belong to?” At almost 90 years old, he couldn’t keep track of his great grandchildren. He was blessed!
            Not everyone views having an abundance of children or their children as a blessing. However, we can be assured that we will be blessed when we fear the Lord and walk in his ways (Ps 128:1). We may not even have children, but we will have a heavenly family that is as wonderful on earth as it will be in eternity.
            Proverbs: Hopefully, by the time we all become old enough to get gray hair, we’ll have found out a lot about living a righteous life. One of the big parts of doing that is learning to be self-controlled. That means not getting angry and not letting external circumstances rule our emotions. That can only be done by fearing the Lord and walking with him.
            Acts: Stephen is showing that their ancestors disobeyed Moses, the very one that they claim to obey by bringing him to trial. They rejected Moses when God had clearly worked miracles through him. If they rejected Moses, then it follows that they would also reject the prophet that he predicted.
            In John 5:45-47, Jesus accused the Jews of not listening to Moses when he said that he would not accuse them to the Father, but it is Moses who will accuse them. They have set their hope on Moses and Moses wrote of Jesus. If they don’t believe Moses, how will they believe Jesus? Stephen is taking a long time to get to his point and he will make it clear tomorrow.
            What we need to do is make sure that we are obeying Scripture. It is too easy to become stubborn and stiff-necked when it comes to even obeying Jesus.

Application

             I want to be blessed. That means I need to learn righteousness and control myself. I also need to be obedient to Scripture and that means paying careful attention to what Jesus commands.

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